What do your users expect of e-learning?

Evie Schellens

Your users’ wishes and priorities change all the time. What do employees, students, and course participants want an e-learning to be in 2021/2022?

We zoom in on five of their most important training needs:

1. An e-learning should function flawlessly

Nowadays, a lot of users grew up with the internet at their disposal, both at home and at school, and love new features. The older generation has become more tech-savvy the last few years as well. This means that an e-learning should be well-developed, tested, and tested again. It may sound obvious, but whereas technological issues were sometimes downplayed as ‘a bug or childhood disease’ before, that is not enough for the user of today. If your training does not function flawlessly, your users will lose interest.

2. Working together in an e-learning

Teamwork is an excellent way to encourage learning. However, statistics show that this is not always evident in online training. Research finds that 87% of employees think sharing knowledge with colleagues is vital to their work. Yet only 34% of the responding organisations actually invested in social learning. There is thus a long way to go when it comes to the availability of mutual knowledge in learning programmes and the simulation of social interaction.

3. Users wants super high-speed access to content

For many employees, Google is their ‘go-to’ for their questions. While this works fast, it can also lead to inaccurate information. You can avoid the ‘Google-reflex’ by making sure that your online academy is easy to navigate and accessible. Use clear categories and layouts, and optimise the routing by using icons and arrows.

4. An e-learning with personal experience

Just like in their daily life, users expect an increasing amount of personalisation in their e-learning courses. This does not only include a simple welcome message that contains their name, but it also involves encouraging the user to think about their own learning style.

A lot of courses look fantastic, but are often too standardised and use a ‘one-size-fits-all’ instead of a personal touch. The design of an online training should spend enough time on the diversity among users, and it should keep the students’ preferred way of learning in mind. That is how you create a personal atmosphere that engages almost every user. 

For example, one user prefers to watch a video, another might want to read an in-depth text about the topic, and another person only needs a short overview with highlights. This is how every user achieves their learning goals via their own personal route.

5. Users want a real goal

In 2025, millennials will make up 75% of the world population, and while they have to deal with student loans and an impossible housing market, money is not their main motivating factor.

This is what more companies should take into account when establishing their training strategy. Employees have never been motivated only by money, but this is even less the case in the present day. The millennial generation strongly identifies themselves with ‘working for the greater good and making the world a better place’. Research finds that 50% of the surveyed millennials would accept a lower salary if they worked at a company that suits their values. More than 90% said that they want to use their learned skills forever.

It is therefore essential to invest in training that can help users to see the big picture. How the training can improve their skills, how it fits in with their core values, and what the general ‘why’ is.